I fully agree with Tantek here. (ht Jack Jamieson) Doing vegetarian or vegan by default at events is meaningful as well as easy to do. No non-vegetarian minds it, especially not with non-veg side dishes. For organisers it takes away the friction of having to keep track of various diet options.

At last year’s Techfestival (an event for thousands in Copenhagen) I was pleasantly surprised to see all catering was vegetarian by default, and the speakers dinner I attended was mostly vegan. It is important to also note that that speakers dinner was the most memorable meal I had last year, for its creative play with tastes, colors and textures.

For IndieWebCamp Amsterdam, based on the ‘vegetarian by default’ suggestion given to IndieWeb organisers, I arranged it that way too. Pre-event dinner and the first lunch were vegetarian, and the second lunch had plenty vegetarian options on the menu as well as non-vegetarian.
For our birthday unconferences from the start we catered vegetarian at the same level as non-vegetarian (our bbqs definitely aren’t vegetarian as such). It reduces overhead and planning while at the same time increasing the variety and sense of plenty of what’s on the table. It’s easy to have plenty of vegan salads, vegetable dishes and soups, with non-vegetarian food served alongside.

Replied to a post by Tantek ÇelikTantek Çelik

Instead of making “vegan” or “vegetarian” a special meal option, flip it around, and cater vegan by default, with special meal options for dairy (milk/cream/cheese/yogurt), meat, or fish (as well as other needs / sensitivities)….Things like this are why personal, small group, and company choices around food, consumption, environmental impacts do make an impact. By setting a good (if bold) example, you normalize it, you remove fear, you make it that much less strange for the next person to choose to do so, for themselves, their group, or their company. …Systemic change is possible, and it’s possible to work in parallel at all levels.

Edible Growth

While at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven I came across ‘Edible Growth‘: 3d printed edible pastries.

The interesting part it is that spores of mushrooms and seeds of small plants are printed within a little ‘basket’ of pastry, on the basis of your design. The spores and seeds sprout and grow over a period of five days, and then your little starter is finished. If you let it grow longer it will get richer in taste (more mature mushroom, bigger green plants), allowing for your personal preference. The pastry serves as food source and packaging for the seeds and spores.
What you end up with is an edible item that comes without waste products (no packaging, no left-over material etc.)

The project was conceived by Chloe Rutzerveld. She did it as her graduation project for a bachelor in industrial design at TUe, and in cooperation with TNO, a Dutch research firm. In the past she has worked on other food related projects. Reducing agricultural foodprint, waste streams, and food miles are part of the values she incorporates in her designs.

Edible Growth
Three stages of growth after printing.